The 4th of July is a day of celebration, commemorating U.S. Independence from England. It’s a time for reflection about the things that make us proud of the red, white, and blue. Fireworks, at least in Pennsylvania, are always part of the festivities, but if not handled with care, accidents can happen. Taking safety precautions to avoid injuries helps to ensure everyone has a safe holiday.
Firework Related Accidents and Injuries:
There are over 50,000 fires caused by fireworks annually. According the NFPA’s Fireworks Fires and Injuries Report, “fireworks injure thousands and cause thousands of fires.”
- Approximately 19,500 fires were caused by fireworks in 2018.
- From 2014-2018, 59% of reported fires began with fireworks.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that 9,100 consumer fireworks-related injuries were seen in U.S. Emergency rooms.
- About half of firework related injuries happen to the hands or fingers. A third of the injuries happened to the eyes or areas around the head.
- The majority of fireworks-related injuries involved legal fireworks.
Things You Can Do to Stay Safe
- Ensure that fireworks are legal in your area before purchase. Laws may differ not only from state to state but city to city as well.
- Never give sparklers or other fireworks to small children.
- Never throw or point a firework at people, animals, vehicles, buildings, or anything that is flammable. Carefully read all packaging instructions for safety guidelines and proper execution.
- Do not point a sparkler at yourself or others. Sparklers can reach temperatures of 1200 F which can cause severe injuries.
- If lighting fireworks, always wear eye protection.
- Always light fireworks on the ground and away from any flammable materials.
- Do not light more than one firework at a time.
- Do not disassemble fireworks or try to fabricate them yourself.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or water supply close by as a precautionary measure.
- If a firework does not ignite, do not try to relight it. As a precautionary measure, douse these fireworks with water and throw them away.
- Do not dispose of detonated fireworks until they have completely cooled.
- Only store fireworks in cool, dry places where they cannot be found by children or pets.
Grills and Cookouts:
It is not just about fireworks. No July 4th is complete without a cookout!
- Double check gas grill hoses for cracks or leaks.
- Supervise the grill when it is being used.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid after coals have been ignited.
- Never grill indoors, in any enclosed area, or in an area with potentially flammable materials. It should also be kept at least two feet away from decks, trees/branches, or siding.
- Keep others away from the grill, especially children and pets.
- Always use the proper (long-handled) grill tools and accessories.
We wish everyone a fantastic holiday and the opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. Working for over 100 years in fire protection, the Wm. T. Spaeder Company takes fire safety very seriously… and we hope that you do as well. Have a Happy 4th of July!